17 best products for curly hair, according to editors

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Of course, we know that not all curls are created equal. Each loop pattern is unique. We note the editor’s curl type next to their recommendations below.

Waves

  • 2a: straighter than curly – think of soft, loose waves
  • 2b: a little more curved, but still flat at the roots
  • 2c: deeper waves, with probably a few curls in the mix

Buckles

  • 3a: soft curls, sometimes defined, sometimes frizzy
  • 3b: tighter spirals or curls with a little spring
  • 3c: tight curls that are also prone to dryness and breakage

Coils

  • 4a: small, but distinctly S-shaped strands in tight rings
  • 4b: small zigzag pattern
  • 4c: tightly coiled strands with a very tight zigzag shape

BluMaan Original Styling Meraki

“It’s a matte, thick, pasty hair product that works wonderfully as a pre-styler as well as a finishing styling cream. I use it all the time for both, and it is hands down the best product I have tested. I have tried every American Crew, Bumble and Bumble, Hanz de Fuko and more, and this product is light years better than all of them.

“It has great hold, doesn’t look like any product in my hair, and can also help hair feel and look thicker and fuller. I use it on my kids too, and it stays in their hair all day and can be styled wet or dry. – Michael Weisbaum, Director of Marketplace Content, Healthline (buckle type: 2C)

Jessicurl Rockin ‘Ringlets Styling Potion

“This product still works very well for me. It has a medium hold, so even if you need to do a bit of wrinkling after blow-drying, it still leaves your hair soft and defined. I like to combine it with Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling Gel or Confident Coils Styling Solution. But if I had to choose just one product, it would be this one because it gives good results on its own.

“It’s CG compatible and has all-natural ingredients, and I also love that you can get it fragrance-free! Additionally, Jessicurl offers samples if you want to try before you buy.

“A word of warning: I would buy direct from Jessicurl if possible. I once bought the product from Amazon, and it had a really weird texture. – Chelsea Logan, Editor II, Healthline (Loop Type: 3A)

Hairstory New Wash Original

“A stylist used it to wash my hair a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. It simultaneously cleanses my scalp while hydrating my hair – an elusive combo that I have never been able to achieve despite trying tons of “curly” shampoos or co-washing.

“I took a break at one point because of the price, but ended up spending so much money trying new shampoos, moisturizers and other products that didn’t work.

“I use it as a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask (sometimes I leave it on for a few hours). If you sign up for the sachet refill program, you get an eco-friendly aluminum pump bottle that lets you ditch plastic bottles. – Kelly Morrell, Writer II, Healthline (Loop Type: 3A)

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Natural Leave-In Detangler

“I have been using this leave-in product for years because it offers excellent glide and hydration. I have fairly thin 3A / 2C hair, but light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my curls. I love that it’s made from organic ingredients and it’s easy to find in stores. – Logan

AQUIS Original Hair Towel

“A lot of people swear by drying their curls with an old cotton t-shirt. I was one of those people for many years, because it works. But I missed being able to wear my. The softest, seedyest oversized t-shirts in the house because they were always hanging out in various stages of humidity.

“This towel gives me the same results (better defined curls and minimal frizz) faster. It also dries quickly, which is useful for traveling. – Morrell

Trader Joe’s Shea Butter Coconut Oil Hair Mask

“This baby is a must have. My dry hair just sucks it up. I use it daily instead of styling products to “wrinkle” my hair. I flip it over, crumple it and get soft, bouncy curls with definition instead of a frizzy, shapeless mess. You can also use it as a full-fledged rinse-off mask. – Crystal Hoshaw, Editor I, Healthline (loop type: 2A)

Kristin Ess Leave-In Curl Cream

“It’s a super hydrating spray cream that gives my curls bounce and shine. I like to spray it on after washing and before detangling my hair, and it works as a detangler as well.

“I think it does a great job of keeping frizz at bay and making my curls super soft. Sometimes I don’t even put on gel or cream with hold afterwards! – Mellanie Perez, Editor I, Healthline (loop type: 2c)

Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Lengthening Flaxseed Curling Gel

“This product saved my life! I love it because not only does it bring out my curls and define them amazingly, but it also doesn’t leave my hair tough like a typical gel would.

“My curls are elongated, fluffy and defined without the harshness and crunch that the gel leaves. It’s also super hydrating. – Raven Shelvin, Relationship Manager, Healthline (Loop Type: 4a)

Leave-in conditioner for mixed chicks

“This has been my go-to hair cream and styling tool for years now. What I love most is that this conditioner is lightweight but still offers a good amount of moisture and control without creating any damage. ‘accumulation.

“I have low porosity 3B hair, so I’ve learned after much trial and error that I need products that can help lock in moisture without weighing my hair too much between washes. I also love that this cream is fragrance free – a lot of curl creams are very scent, which can be tricky if you are sensitive to scents.

“A few downsides: This cream isn’t the best for controlling frizz when there’s a ton of humidity in the air. This cream also contains a type of silicone (amodimethicone), so it will not work for anyone who uses the curly girl method. – Erin Edge, Editor-in-Chief, Healthline, (loop type: 3B)

Banyan Botanicals Organic Healthy Hair Oil

“My hair tends to dry out, so I use this product about once a week to oil my hair. I usually leave it on overnight and wash in my morning shower. I don’t even use any product afterwards, and that first day is usually my best styling day all week.

“It makes my curls soft and silky rather than frizzy. It’s also good for the scalp, especially when combined with a massage. – Hoshaw

Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner

“I started adding it to my routine during the drier months when I wanted a little more conditioning for my hair, and I usually applied it under my usual leave-in styling cream – although if you have any hair loss. finer curls, you may be able to get by with using this on your own.

“It also works to refresh the curls on the second or third day and is a really good conditioner on wet hair. Most Innersense products have a scent, but it’s super light and not too scent, in my experience. – Edge

HiBAR Moisturize Solid Shampoo and Conditioner

“I have been using both shampoo and conditioner for several months and have found them to leave my hair soft and defined. Both are compatible with the curly girl’s methods and easy to find in stores if you don’t want to shop online.

“The shampoo is super easy to use and I like it better than any liquid shampoo I’ve tried. The conditioner bar is a little hard to get used to (it doesn’t spread through the hair as easily as a liquid product), but once you get the hang of it you’ll be good to go. – Logan

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthening and Repairing Mask

“I like to do a deep conditioning treatment with this mask about once a month during the drier months to give my hair a little extra care. Between hot styling (I blow dry or diffuse most of the time) and low porosity hair, additional conditioning is essential.

“It still makes my curls extra soft and hydrated without creating a ton of buildup, and also helps reduce some of my hair loss.” – Edge

Joon Haircare Moisturizing Trio Seat

“These aren’t marketed for curls, but I don’t think I’ve ever used a better shampoo. And I don’t say that lightly. Not only does it smell great without being overpowering, it also leaves my hair super soft, light, bouncy, and shiny. I could go days without washing, and I wouldn’t start to feel frizzy and unruly.

“The oil in this set is just as good, so the three combos are one of my favorite sets. You can also purchase all three items separately. Shampoo and conditioners in liters are, of course, better value for money. – Perez

Segbeauty hair diffuser

“I love this diffuser because you can attach it to any hair dryer. I like to go back and forth between wearing my hair curly and straight, and this diffuser allows me to do both. When I want straight hair, I take it off and use my hairdryer as is.

“When I don’t have the patience to wait for my curls to air dry, I just put them on. You can also adjust the airflow on the diffuser, which can be a big help in minimizing frizz. – Morrell

Cantu Shea Butter Curl Activating Moisturizer for Natural Hair

“This styling cream is intended for people with curly or curly hair. However, I think it also does a great job of “activating” my soft curls!

“It’s perfect when you want a more ‘wet’ look. It leaves the hair a little “crunchy” without drying it out, and it holds quite well. I would say if you don’t like the products that you can smell in your hair, this one isn’t for you. – Perez

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Moisturizing Hair Mask

“If there is one product that lives up to its name, it’s this one! I deeply condition my hair with this product, and it leaves my colored hair hydrated. My hair is so silky and I can comb and detangle it easily.

“It practically melts all the knots in my hair. A bonus is that it smells good! – Shelvin


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